Edith Austin Moore, AFAOA Founder
Edith May Austin was born 19 Apr 1882 to Daniel Henry and Minnie Amelia (Chesebro) Austin. She passed away quietly 21 Nov 1979 in Rockville, Maryland, having moved there from St. Petersburg, Florida the previous year.
After her father's death in 1912, Edith became interested in searching for her ancestors who had served their country during the Revolutionary War. She later extended her research back to her first ancestor in this country, Edward Austin of Rhode Island. Finding little published on the Austin family, and not being able to trace her own line, Edith began gathering Austin Family records in 1922, hoping in that way to find her line, either through her own research or through correspondence with others. In order to help further her family research, in 1942 together with her brother Henry Warner Austin, Edith founded the Austin Family Association, later renamed Austin Families Association of America. The organization has grown through the years with memberships from individuals and families all over the United States.
Edith traveled extensively, visiting libraries in Westerly and Providence, Rhode Island; Boston, Massachusetts; Hartford, Connecticut; Montpelier, Vermont; New York City, Albany, Syracuse, Utica, and Buffalo, New York; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; and Washington, DC. She wrote many letters and sent out several thousand blank forms. Her first book, A Genealogy of the Descendants of Robert Austin of Kingstown, Rhode Island , was published in 1951. While gathering data for this impressive 738 page book, Edith copied down every Austin record that she could find. This gave her data on eight different Austin families who settled in the New England States during the 17th century.
As correspondents kept writing to her for help in solving their own genealogical problems, she gradually accumulated and assembled her own records into two books and seven manuscripts:
- ROBERT AUSTIN of Kingstown, R.I.
- RICHARD AUSTIN of Charlestown, MA
- THOMAS AUSTIN of Andover, MA.
- JOSEPH AUSTIN of Dover, N.H.
- MATTHEW AUSTIN of York, ME.
- JOHN AUSTIN of East Haven, CT.
- JOHN AUSTIN of Stamford, CT.
- JONAH AUSTIN of Taunton, MA
- UNPLACED AUSTIN RECORDS
Those interested in pursuing Austin family lines owe a great debt to Edith Austin Moore for her lifetime of labors and fruitful research, for gathering and organizing volumes of records, many of which might otherwise have been lost forever. Edith will never be forgotten, for she has left us all with a monumental legacy of genealogical research for which she will be remembered with admiration and gratitude.
Edith was buried in the Village of Mexico Cemetery in Mexico, Oswego Co., New York.
Adapted from an article written by Michael E. Austin which appeared in the February 1980 edition of AUSTINS OF AMERICA, page 3, published by Austin Families Genealogical Society (AFGS), Concord, MA, 1995